Interview with Dr. Mark Campbell of Unitrends

By Mark Campbell (Profile)
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Thursday, January 10th 2013
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VSM: Some have said that we’re entering the era of “Backup 2.0.” What does that mean and why should IT professionals and those leading virtualization efforts take note?

MC: Change is the one constant in IT, and for most in the profession it’s hard not to react with a little skepticism when you hear of the latest paradigm shift, evolution to 2.0 or industry-altering trend. Even so, there are times when the hype is real, and that’s definitely the case with backup today. Backup 2.0 refers to the undeniable reality that backup is not only changing utterly, but also is of singular importance to all IT leaders and particularly those that oversee virtualized assets. Why they should care is equally clear: If enterprise backup policies, solutions and protocols don’t reflect the changing nature of IT infrastructure today, the risk of data loss and/or extended downtime is not only real, but inevitable. At its core, that’s what Backup 2.0 is – it’s a new approach to data protection built around solutions that were designed with today’s hybrid environments in mind.

VSM: So is Backup 2.0 the result of increased virtualization in the enterprise?

MC: Yes and no. Yes to the extent that the rapidly increasing adoption of virtualization has already begun making hybrid IT environments the norm, but no in thinking that it’s the sole cause. If you are embracing virtualization, your approach to backup, recovery and the tools you rely on must change, but Backup 2.0 reflects more than that. If you take a step back and look at the average enterprise today, not only is there more data to manage, but how we use, store and share it is changing, too. And that’s true whether you are talking about virtualization, the cloud, unified tiered storage – you name it. If you embrace Backup 2.0 it means your data protection strategies reflect not only the fact that today’s IT infrastructure is increasingly comprised of physical, virtual and cloud environments, but also that you are prepared to adapt to changing IT needs as those environments evolve. That marks a distinct departure from the traditional backup model which has remained largely static over the years.

VSM: How is what we are seeing today a departure from the traditional model of backup?

MC: The term ‘backup’ will continue to be popularly used, but in essence it’s being replaced by the concept of ‘unified data protection.’ Backup, archiving, replication, and failover virtualization are the primary foundational elements of Backup 2.0. The focus shifts from not just backup to short- and long-term retention, flexible forms of disaster recovery, and an emphasis on extremely rapid access to not only protected data, but also protected systems and protected infrastructure.